Mark Woodward's Member Story
Recently we had a fantastic opportunity to hit the road and visit some of our valued members and get their take on what it’s like to be a member of FSB. We’re currently in the process of filming member testimonials that show some of the fantastic success stories that we hear so much about – and now we want to share a sneak peak of those stories with you.
Yesterday we travelled to Clitheroe in East Lancashire to speak to Mark Woodward who is CEO of the Printed Cup Company. Mark’s team specialise in the design and manufacture of printed cups to suit the needs of clients from across the UK and beyond.
The company was set up by Mark and his wife, Jenny Woodward, who at the time was a teacher. The inspiration for the Printed Cup Company came almost ten years ago, shortly after Mark had been made redundant from his job in sales, he describes this event as “a blessing!”
At 49, Mark struggled to find another job. A former client offered him the chance to sell the paper cups he had stored away in a warehouse, they could then split the profits. The business grew from there.
Before joining FSB, Mark and Jenny worked tirelessly from their living room. They felt extremely isolated with nobody to talk to about running a business.
“We could have done with FSB earlier in the company’s history, we would have been able to expand at an earlier date.”
Membership Advisor Allan Hughes visited Mark and Jenny, presenting them with the opportunity to join FSB. Mark describes this event as ‘a huge presentation that highlighted how great FSB was’. Mark and Jenny were already thinking of excuses to turn the offer down, believing it would be far too expensive for them during a time where they were trying to save money instead of spending it. But when they found out how low the annual price was, they jumped at the chance to sign up.
Mark told us, “As a start-up, you can afford FSB, but perhaps not the other business support subscriptions that are out there.”
Unfortunately the company were taken to a tribunal on two separate occasions, Mark describes how we were able to support them, “It was stressful, and FSB looked after us and made the process easy. Our membership is worth its weight in gold for that alone.”
Mark feels that the member benefits on offer were, and still are, “enormous”. “It’s a huge plus when you’re starting out – you feel quite lonely. You get the chance to go to meetings, share your problems and get advice you can trust.”
“The online help included all of the legal documents – you can get an invoice with terms and conditions readily displayed on the back – where else could you get that? FSB offers that support structure that small businesses need. It makes you feel like you’re part of something big, even if you’re still small.”
At FSB our sole aim is to support small businesses throughout the UK with our comprehensive benefits and powerful lobbying voice in Westminster. Our members are important to us, so if you’d like to share your experience, then we would love to hear from you. Contact us via email@example.com. If you are starting a small business like Mark did, we can assist you in achieving great things, visit our join portal, where you can request a call back and let's start the journey together.